Mortgage CUSO Retooled To Give Each CU An Identity

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Wright-Patt Financial Group has packaged its mortgage products into a separate division it believes will allow member CUs to feel a stronger sense of ownership.

Called myCUmortgage, it offers the same mortgage processing operation and mortgage website by Prime Alliance Solutions as it has since the organization was formed. But instead of the familiar Wright-Patt logo that made some CUs uncomfortable, it includes the new myCUmortgage logo along with the partnering credit union's name and logo.

The CUSO has been operating for four years, according to Tim Mislansky, president of myCUmortgage. He said the plan was to provide the back-office support for credit unions that wanted to generate the mortgage businesses themselves. For many of the participating credit unions, business was good, particularly when the refinance boom was at its peak. "One credit union that we worked with generated almost 25% of non-interest income from frees from mortgages," he noted.

Presently, 19 Ohio credit unions have partnered with Wright-Patt's mortgage division.

Still, Mislansky thinks some credit unions have shied away from working with the CUSO because the Wright-Patt brand overpowered their own, giving members the impression that they were being handed off

"Credit unions want to work with the members themselves," Mislansky said. "It's their credit union and they know their members better than I can ever know them. We felt we could better serve our partners as a separate identity. The myCUmortgage name reflects that the mortgage program belongs to each partner credit union and signifies that they are active in the mortgage process."

Mislansky said records from his own credit union show that members with in-house mortgages have significantly more money on deposit than other members. In addition, he said, they have one full deposit product, two other full loan products and utilize up to eight more services such as home banking and audio response.

"Offering mortgages is a proven way to build relationships with members, and to secure a larger portion of their financial services business in the process," Mislansky said. "Our numbers show when you get the mortgage you have the best chance of sustaining that relationship with members."

Mislansky said myCUmortgage features an online application process that offers loan decisions to members in four minutes or less. In addition, the website gives members access to extensive information and features to help them select the correct loan. For credit unions, the website offers administrative tools to help manage loan applications and leads, plus provides regular reporting on loan volume and pipeline.

And, since home refinances have slowed, he said, Wright-Patt Financial Group is working hard to be more than just a back-office provider.

"One of the things we're doing is helping credit unions develop relationships with Realtors. We're offering home buyer seminars to help put (credit unions) on real estate agents radar."

Credit unions that participate in myCUmortgage pay a small monthly fee for use of the website. In exchange, they receive a percentage for each loan they originate. Wright-Patt does charge a processing fee for each loan, but Mislansky said the borrower typically pays that amount. Most of the loans are sold on the secondary market, but myCUmortgage maintains the servicing.

"It's very affordable," Mislansky said. "We're a credit union. We understand how mortgages work. We cover our costs and return some income back to our members."

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